Headquartered at IUPUI
Locations on 8 IU Campuses

Admissions Policies

Admissions Committee

The admissions process is guided by the MSW Admissions Coordinator and conducted by faculty serving on the MSW Admissions Committee.  In evaluating applicants, faculty reviewers take into consideration the following factors:

  1. Past academic performance as reflected in a cumulative undergraduate GPA.
  2. Critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate effectively in writing as reflected in the required writing sample and application questions.
  3. Graduate course work performance (if any).
  4. Judgments by faculty reviewers of the candidate’s commitment to social work and suitability for the profession, based on a reading of the application.
  5. Length and type of work and volunteer experience.
  6. Letters of reference.
  7. Evidence of personal qualities considered important for the practice of social work.
  8. Diversity considerations.

Applicants will receive one of four admission responses:  Applicants are accepted, conditionally accepted (based on completion of pre-requisites or undergraduate degree);  accepted on probation (based on successful completion of a requirement for a 4-credit hour writing course); or denied.  Admission is competitive and the instructional resources of the school determine total enrollment. 

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions will be relayed to the applicant electronically.  It is imperative your application have a current email and you inform us if there is a change.  It is recommended that a non-university email be used because university accounts are typically closed after graduation. 

Neither the IUSSW Admissions Coordinator, the campus MSW Director, Executive Administration, nor any admissions committee member will disclose to an applicant the reason admission is denied.  Once you submit your application to IUSSW, it becomes the property of the school and its content or copies of its content will not be released under any circumstances. 

Probationary Admission

If an applicant demonstrates marginal scholarly writing skills, he/she may be admitted on probation with the addition of a 4-credit hour writing course that must be passed,  earning a B or above, prior to beginning MSW coursework.  This may impact the date of matriculation for the applicant.  For a student admitted on probation who does not attend the writing course or pass with the required grade, the offer of admission will be rescinded.

Transfer Credit

A person with graduate credits in a behavioral science field may potentially (depending on concentration) transfer one three-credit hour course to the MSW program with the following caveats:  the school must approve it as an elective; the course must not be more than five years old at the time of MSW graduation; and course work that is part of a conferred graduate or undergraduate degree may not be considered for transfer credit.

Incomplete Applications

Electronic applications without all references being submitted will be rejected.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from other accredited MSW programs may apply at any time and may be accepted if space is available. Master of Social Work students interested in transferring to Indiana University must complete the entire IUSSW application and also provide the following additional documentation:  a) a reference letter from the previous MSW Program Director stating that the student left the program in good standing and verifying the student’s competence in the field of social work; b) an official transcript reflecting all completed MSW coursework; and c) a course syllabus from every MSW course completed to determine transferable credit in the IUSSW MSW curriculum.

This application is not subject to the same deadlines; it can be submitted at any time. Upon receipt of the completed application, the Admissions Committee will review the materials and decide if the applicant will be accepted into the program.  If accepted, the student’s transcript and course syllabi will be analyzed to determine which credits earned in another accredited social work program will transfer to Indiana University.  In all circumstances, however, the transfer student must complete all required courses in the chosen IUSSW concentration curriculum.

Graduate Testing

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT), and other graduate tests are not required in order to be considered for admission into the MSW program at IUSSW.

Time Limitation

All requirements for the MSW degree must be completed no more than five years from the date of the student’s first enrollment at IUSSW.

Continuous Enrollment

Students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their course of study.  A student in good standing may request a temporary, time-limited leave of absence (Stop Out). Students initiate this process by contacting their faculty advisor.  Failure to comply with notification to Stop Out may impact ability to register upon re-entry.  The five-year time limitation does apply.

Course Load

A graduate student may not carry more than five courses in any fall or spring semester.  In the summer no more than 6 credit hours can be taken (3 credits each session suggested).

Life Experience

Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in whole or in part toward the social work degree.

Repeat Applicants

Applicants who have applied to the Indiana University School of Social Work in the past  will need to submit an entirely new application.  IUSSW does not keep files for students who apply and are not admitted or who do not enroll.  Additionally, you must submit a new university graduate school application each year that you apply and are required to pay the application fee again.

Armed Services Applicants

Any applicant serving in the United States armed services may apply to the program and may participate if deployed abroad for MSW Direct. Applicants in the immediate family such as a spouse may also apply. However, the student MUST be physically present for the three day face-to- face course orientation session.

Indiana University strives to be supportive of military personnel, their families, and veterans. The IUPUI campus has an Office for Veterans & Military Personnel.

Sex Offender Policy

It is the policy of the School of Social Work that no students or applicants who have been convicted of sex offenses against children shall be eligible for admission or matriculation into the BSW, MSW or PhD programs.

Policy on Nondiscrimination

Based on the tradition of the social work profession, and consistent with Indiana University’s Equal Opportunity Policy, IUSSW affirms and conducts all aspects of its teaching, scholarship, and service activities without discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, socio-economic status, marital status, national or ethnic origin, age, religion/creed, disability, political affiliation, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The School of Social Work has a strong commitment to diversity and nondiscrimination.  Indeed, diversity is celebrated as a strength.  This perspective is demonstrated by the composition of its faculty and student body, curriculum content, and recruitment and retention activities.  Further commitment is demonstrated through participation in university committees dealing with oppressed populations, numerous service activities, including advocacy on behalf of the disadvantaged, selection of field practicum sites, and by school policies related to promotion and tenure of its faculty.